PRIZE-GIVING DAY, 1963
ONCE AGAIN we were blessed with a fine day for this all-important day in the School calendar, and although rain threatened we were
spared the indignity of arranging our guests and audience to miss the rain drops which insist on penetrating through the roof of the
Thursday, 17th October, 1963, at precisely 3 p.m. our chairman of Goldings Committee, Mr. L. B. Keeble, J.P., announced the first hymn
'Praise to the Lord Almighty'., and under the leadership of Mr. Wood at the piano our praises rang out. This was followed by a short
prayer by our Chaplain, The Rev. B. L. Nixon.
Mr. Keeble, in his usual easy style, then introduced our guest of honour, Dr. J. J. B. Dempster, O.B.E., M.A., Chief Education Officer,
Southampton, and surprised many of us with the news that this gentleman was an ex-member of our staff. He was in fact responsible for
the introduction of evening classes in the general education field within the School. At that time there were no day classes, the boys
spent all their time in shop. He was also responsible for the issue of the first GOLDONIAN and was first editor. In his short introduction
Mr. Keeble referred to a sermon he had recently heard from our padre, in which The Rev. Nixon had likened Goldings to London Airport,
where people come and go. The difference being of course that when boys leave us they should know a lot more than when they came!
The real similarity being with the team spirit of the staffing, which ensures that however great or varied the “traffic”, everyone received the
same treatment. After a couple of short stories with a moral, Mr. Keeble then asked the Headmaster to give his report.
Mr. Wheatley started by offering apologies from the Mayor and Mayoress of Hertford, who were unable to attend owing to a previously
arranged engagement, and also from Mr. T. F. Tucker, our General Superintendent, who found it impossible to get along this year.
Mr. Wheatley stated that the Goldings Committee had gone from strength to strength, and whereas at one time he had to tell them what
was required in the Home or Departments they now told him! Which went to show the immense interest all members were taking in
their job. General improvements continue despite the high costs, and Mr. Wheatley thanked all who were making these improvements
Mr. Wheatley then went on to say how important we at Goldings are to the Dr. Barnardo organization, both from the human angle and
materially. Taking the human aspect first he pointed out the importance of our apprenticeship schemes, and although we only had
apprentices of our own in the Printing Department, all other departments were able to apprentice their boys to outside firms after initial
training here. Reports of successes were coming in all the while, and then Mr. Wheatley listed some of the reports that had come in
during the last twelve months.
Turning to the material values, Mr. Wheatley pointed out that the Printing Department printed a large percentage of the matter required
for Rag Weeks, which are run by practically all universities to aid charitable organizations, and from which we derive great benefits.
Also, of course, we print somewhere in the region of 3,000" jobs each year directly for the Homes. The Carpentry Department: have just
completed a new Art wing for the school and are in the' process of completing garages for the Home staff. They too, help many of the
other Homes with special furniture, models, etc. The Painting and Decorating Department, apart from keeping our own home in good
condition, sent boys to redecorate caravans which are used by personnel from the Homes. The Sheet-metal work boys make apparatus to
assist the physically handicapped children, and now the Gardeners are supplying other homes with nursery plants, shrubs, etc. Likewise,
of course, our Boot and Shoe Department keeps our boys well-shod, and makes special shoes as required.
All the activities that are carried on at the School were far too numerous to mention, but the Head did make reference to the Duke of
Edinburgh Award scheme that is being run so excellently by Mr. Newton, and read a letter that he had received from an Assistant County
Commissioner of Hertfordshire who had visited Mr. Newton and his boys when they were using the Hertfordshire Scout Highland
Headquarters at Lochernhead. There need be no doubts as to the success of this scheme.
Twelve of our boys had their Art entries accepted by the Children's Royal Academy, and all received awards. Two of the exhibits were
accepted for the travelling exhibition.
Finally, looking to the future, Mr. Wheatley said plans were afoot for closer integration between school and technical education. Exactly
how this was to take place had yet to be devised, but he was sure it would not be long before it came to pass.
Dr. Dempster then presented the prizes to the boys as listed below, and afterwards gave us a really interesting talk, confining his remarks
primarily to reminiscences of his time spent at Goldings. He also congratulated Mr. Wheatley on the wonderful report he had made, one
of the best he had ever had the pleasure of listening to.
Dr. Dempster then turned his attention to the future, paying particular reference to trades, how their methods will change during this age
of automation, but how essential it will be to have a solid foundation, with English and Mathematics as essentials, plus Business Science.
With speed now supersonic, the world is a far smaller place for people to live in, therefore they are much closer together, and
understanding of the other person's problem will be all the more necessary.
Finally Dr. Dempster emphasized the need for everyone to keep fully occupied. The unhappy, discontented and selfish people are always
to be found among those with time on their hands, and it is not necessary to be in that position, there is always something to be done for
someone. He was very pleased that the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme had taken on so well, because he felt that within this framework
was the answer to full occupation of time.
Before our last hymn and the blessing, Mr. Embleton, our Deputy Headmaster, moved a vote of thanks to our principal guest, including in
his remarks some amusing quips in a manner which only Mr. Embleton knows how.
After the proceedings in the gymnasium, staff and guests adjourned to the house for a cup of tea, and the guests were able to see a small
exhibition of work which had been laid out in the assembly room.
N. T. P.